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Wednesday 26 Oct 2016SPIDERMAN - A fast code to model secondary eclipses and phase curves

Dr. Tom Louden - University of Warwick

Physics, 4th Floor 14:00-15:00

Presenting spiderman, a fast code for calculating exoplanet phase curves and secondary eclipses with arbitrary surface brightness distributions. Spiderman uses an exact geometric algorithm to
calculate the area of sub-regions of the planet that are occulted by the star during occultation. This allows the planet to be modelled with a relatively small number of grid points, with no loss in numerical precision, meaning over a thousand models can be
calculated per second in typical use. This makes it possible to marginalise effectively over the underlying parameters controlling the brightness distribution of exoplanets.
Using an analytical approximation to the results of General Circulation Models, we apply the code to archival data on the phase curve of WASP-43b. We find an excellent fit to the data, and are
able to place direct constraints on the physics of heat transport in the atmosphere, such as the ratio between advective and radiative timescales.
The full code is open source and available to download from Github.

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